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The Examination

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  226 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Fifteen-year-old Hong and his older brother Chen face famine, flood, pirates, and jealous rivals on their journey through fifteenth century China as Chen pursues his calling as a scholar and Hong becomes involved with a secret society known as the White Lotus.
320 pages
Published October 30th 1996 by Sunburst Books (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 363)
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Aug 19, 2009 Sheri rated it did not like it
I didn't make it too far in this one. Cricket fighting is only so interesting, and I had no idea it could be so gory.
Ted Hunt
Jul 20, 2012 Ted Hunt rated it really liked it
A nice readable novel that provides some insights concerning life in China in the late Ming era. At one point, Lao Tze, the "father" of Taoism, is quoted: "When one comes to a fork in the road, take it." Who knew that Yogi Berra was actually a Taoist?
Mar 06, 2010 Gabsss rated it did not like it
Kathie Jackson
Feb 13, 2016 Kathie Jackson rated it it was amazing
Set in the Ming Dynasty, following two very different brothers, Hong the wily and street smart 15-year-old cricket fighter who is more like an older brother to 19-year-old Chen the scholar. Hong must accompany Chen on a foot journey of over 3,000 miles to sit for a series of scholarly examinations that test the intellect, writing skill and will. Those who pass the grueling tests are guaranteed cushy government jobs, but Chen is more interested in learning for learning's sake, and his brilliant b ...more
May 25, 2012 Kris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
A really great novel set in 16th century China. It follows two brothers as they make their way across China as the older brother rises through the examination process. I loved seeing so many of the places I've visited and appreciated the author's inclusion of so many minor parts of daily life. He didn't shrink away from pirates, floods, famines, etc, but tempered it all with poetry and philosophy from China's greats. This was not a pretty book or a happy book, but it wasn't a downer either. I al ...more
Sep 21, 2014 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
I had to read this book for class and I flat out hated it. It takes a lot for me to say I hate a book. I could see where people could think it was good, but for me it was strained. It wasn't free flowing and unpredictable. It was stiff and unchanging.
The book follows two brothers on a journey through China. I kept getting the characters mixed up and I couldn't follow them.
the "exciting" parts fell flat and weren't dramatic enough, very monotone. I so wanted to love this book, but it did not hap
Jul 12, 2014 Emily rated it liked it
I decided to read my son's summer reading assignment because why not. Anyway: the author has done a lot of research and it is all right there on the page, which includes passages that sound something like, "And then Hong noticed a red bird, which reminded him that his name meant red and that red is traditionally a happy color associated with weddings," or "He had heard that vegetable dumplings were a specialty of the region, where they were often prepared with two kinds of dipping sauce," etc. T ...more
Jan 10, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it
Good book for kids to learning about China during the Ming Dynasty.
Jan 23, 2009 Jordan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2009 Taylor rated it liked it
This was another summer reading book for school. It wasn't a book I would typically pick up to read but there was a lot of good information in it. I probably wouldn't read it ever again but anyone who likes learning about ancient China would love this book!
May 19, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books growing up. I wish I hadn't read all the negative reviews - I can't believe anyone would so vehemently hate this book! At the very least it's a descriptive historical children's book!
Brandon Gee
Sep 02, 2012 Brandon Gee rated it liked it
This book holds alot of interesting facts of history about China in the Qui dynasty. The pace is a little slow, but it's a good book if you want to know more about history or if you are doing a project related to China
Feb 20, 2014 Marcie rated it liked it
Two brothers set off on a trip across China for one brother to take a series of exams. They other brother goes along for his protection. They have many experiences.
Okay I read this a long time ago... I think it was 8th grade, so about 10 years ago, but I remember loving it. I'll have to read it again and do a real review.
Sep 07, 2010 Melanie rated it liked it
Another 7th grade summer reading book - that Emma didn't chose to read but I did- hard, long, meandering and sometimes boring read.
Feb 18, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
I read this to the girls. Learned a lot about China during that time period. Interesting story...kept their attention.
Sep 19, 2010 Mickie rated it liked it
My son had to read this for school and it seemed interesting and it was. I learned a little about China and some of its history.
Nov 06, 2010 Kathy rated it really liked it
Wonderful descriptions of ancient China that still exists in the minds of people in modern times.
Rick K.
Feb 12, 2009 Rick K. rated it liked it
This strangely stuck with me. Myseventh grade techer read this to us, but it has soe cool scenes.
Crystal Yu
Jan 04, 2011 Crystal Yu rated it liked it
This was a good book that i read back in 8th grade. I thought it was pretty interesting.
Sep 28, 2011 Minty rated it it was amazing
Remember this book from my childhood. <3
Mar 07, 2010 ***Lulu*** rated it did not like it
Hate this book!!!! Its soooo boring!
Jun 16, 2007 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: own, ya-books
Oct 25, 2010 Regan rated it did not like it
Tri added it
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Tri Pham
Tri Pham marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2016
Lexi rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2016
Khoa added it
Sep 07, 2016
Doni Lemley
Doni Lemley rated it it was amazing
Aug 18, 2016
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Malcolm Joseph Bosse (1926–2002) was an American author of both young adult and adult novels. His novels are often set in Asia, and have been praised for their cultural and historical information relating to the character's adventures. Bosse mostly wrote historical fiction novels after the publication of The Warlord, which became a best-seller.

Bosse was born in Detroit, Michigan and died in New Yo
More about Malcolm J. Bosse...

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